Monday, January 22, 2007
Yeah, it's Monday and so I am officially late with my Sunday Scribblings entry. But I accept late homework for partial credit and, operating on that principle, I'm turning my post in late.
The prompt is fantasy.
Recently I read a New York Times magazine article by Peggy Orenstein, in which she reflected on the princessification of American girls. Basically, she was bemoaning this development and wondering if it was going to lead girls further away from the feminist girl-hood many women seek for their daughters.
I don't have a daughter, but I do have a son who likes to dress up in costumes. No princess costumes for him (though I wouldn't care) ---- he's all manly in his dress up things. We've got pirate costumes, an Indian costume, a cowboy costume, a Power Ranger costume, a gladiator costume and all the assorted weaponry therein. On the weekends JT has been known to spend the entire day in costume. I encourage this fantasy game because the world is sometimes a rough place and if you need to be a pirate to take it on, then I say go for it.
I think that children envision and prepare for their future via their imagination. The fantasies they weave make that happen. Quite naturally, six year olds work from a world that isn't governed by adult realities and so my son doesn't dress up like a stockbroker, he's a cowboy instead. And some people's daughters are princesses. But the goal here is to raise a creative and happy adult who isn't afraid to try new things and take on the world. Whether he's a teacher, a stockbroker, or a cowboy or whatever else he might choose, I want him to know that the door to new experiences is always open. And I think that a rich imagination, weaving fantasies, will ensure that he learns that lesson.